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    Turkish FM complains at slow EU accession pace

    Hurriyet English with wires
    28.05.2008 - 10:50 | Son Güncelleme:

    Many chapters wait to be opened due to political attitudes of various countries, though the opening of a chapter takes only 15 minutes, Turkey's FM Ali Babacan told on Tuesday at the meeting of the Turkey-EU Joint Parliamentary Commission in Brussels. (UPDATED)

    "Many chapters wait to be opened due to political attitudes of various countries. The opening of a chapter and its ceremony takes only 15 minutes. Turkey can not wait. And so we thought that Turkey should move ahead," Babacan was quoted by the Anatolian Agency as saying at the meeting, while European Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn said Turkey should not expect the membership negotiations to be concluded rapidly.

    The EU opened entry talks with Turkey in 2005, but there has been little progress amid disagreements over Cyprus and opposition from France and other EU countries, including Austria and Germany. The bloc also suspended negotiations in eight policy chapters because of Turkey's refusal to open its ports to Greek Cypriot vessels.   

    However the EU is expected to soon open negotiations with Turkey on the company law and intellectual property rights chapters as part of the country's membership talks, bringing the total to eight out of the 35 chapters that candidates are required to complete.

    Babacan also said the Turkish government has looked at reforms made as not concessions to the EU but rather as the gain of the Turkish people.

    "We continue to make reforms by believing that these reforms are to the benefit of the Turkish people," he said.

    He added various EU members want to divert Turkey from its goal of full EU membership, the Anatolian Agency reported.

    "As with the other candidate countries, there are many stops on Turkey's path to the EU," Rehn said at the meeting on Tuesday.

    We check these stops so that progress is made within EU standards and that Turkey's engine functions better, he added.

    Babacan met on Wednesday European Commissioner for Energy Andris Piebalgs and Rehn, and deliver a speech at the European Parliament Foreign Relations Commission, the Anatolian Agency reported.

    He will depart later for Bratislava to meet Slovakia's Foreign Minister Jan Kubis.  

    Photo: AA


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